Use Technology to Increase Productivity in 2014

It’s no secret that productivity in the workplace has increased by leaps and bounds each year through the introduction of faster, more applicable technology. The O2 Business and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) released results of a study last October that found out just how much that increase is. What they found is that “office worker productivity per hour is nearly five times (480%) more than what it was in the 1970s.” Additionally they predict that productivity related to information and communications technology (ICT) will increase 2.5% annually through 2020.

What then can your company do to make sure you are keeping up with the rest of the business world? Glad you asked.

Update your IT — Spending on some newer devices that are faster and can handle more processes is an investment in your future. But up-to-date products will be faster. Employees will take their work more seriously when they have devices that can match a quicker pace. Just remember there’s no need to get overeager with products that are excessive. Updating IT also means having the right staff for all your tech.

Fast internet connection — If you’re motivating your employees to be more productive then you can’t let internet speeds keep them back. This is a good reason to limit employees’ time watching videos and downloading non-work related items. They slow down the system for everyone as well and decrease productivity.

Connect teams virtually — Use an enterprise social software, like that created by Jive Software Inc. or Acquia, that allows co-workers to interact with notes and updates. There are no setbacks if someone doesn’t have the phone number of another team member but needs to reach them ASAP. If you can get information out more quickly, projects can move ahead faster keeping employees engaged and increasing productivity output.

Big Picture — In one place that is easy to find keep a central hub of information that employees need to be aware of and show the big picture of what the company wants to accomplish. People are more motivated when they know they are working with others toward a common goal. Did you ever have a boss promise a reward if all the employees met the month’s sales goal? That’s because motivation is a lot about incentives. They don’t always need to be rewards though. Just seeing the goal beyond themselves will help employees to move onward and upward.

Track Productivity — No one will be 100% and it’s unfair to expect that, but it is highly likely that every employee, including yourself, can make an improvement somewhere. A productivity/time analytics application, like RescueTime or Time Doctor, shows you where all your time is going, letting you see how productive you are. It is more powerful for an employee to see exactly where they can improve based on actual evidence than for a hawk-eyed supervisor to be telling them where they are lacking. You can get the apps for free. A word of caution though — test out the apps benefits and limitations before judging your employees’ work based off its findings.

Now get out there and motivate your staff. Show them that they have even greater potential than what they have already shown. Be inspired and more productive in 2014!